The Zero Hour

Reviews, rants and oddities on video game and film culture.

Diva Starz: Mall Mania

You know that awkward phase in a girls life where they become all irritating and preppy and only care about their outfits, cute boys and hair accessories? I mean, I don’t know if it even exists outside of shitty American pre-teen movies, but you know, there’s a whole damn market for that kind of junk. Thanks to the Barbie craze of the 1960’s, every generation has a version of this, be it Bratz or some other thing, I don’t know nor care. Unsurprisingly, because of the stigma of games being aimed at boys, someone had to make a game aimed at that market of irritating giggly females. Which is why today, and because I’m so full of self-hatred and enjoy watching myself suffer, I’m playing “Diva Starz: Mall Mania”

First things first. You get to the start menu and the music is just awful. I mean, even though the GBC’s sound card isn’t the best, there’s still potential for some good music. Here’s just a chiptune chainsaw burrowing through your skull. So you press start as quickly as possible and start the game. You select a character out of a possible of five girls who are all basically the same, except for hair colour and one of them is a token black character, so fun for everyone. Except me. Obviously. Anyway, so the first level is the character getting to the mall on their scooter collecting items that I can’t recognise because the spriting is rubbish, it’s pretty much, press A to jump (they’re not even wearing helmets, good rolemodeling girls) and after a while the level ends. Once there, the game becomes a choice of 4 really boring minigames that I don’t think I finished because I fall asleep before the last one everytime. There’s a food court level where you have to take apart and rearrange a sundae onto someone elses plate, encouraging dietary problems and anorexia. Next is a level where you give them clothes to wear and are immediately told YOU’RE WRONG if you don’t select the correct outfit by the game like a stubborn Gok Wan. There’s a pet store level where you have to navigate a maze (great store design guys, really) and get a dog, which is so freaking bizarre. You know, when kids go shopping, they always go to the pet store and buy a dog. I bet she’ll bring it home and her parents’ll be like;

“You bought a dog? Why?”
“Because it goes with my shoes,”
“…Honey, pack your bags, you’re going to the catholic boarding school this year”

Anyway the next stage is a music level where you have to dance in a music shop (???) and press the right button that appears on the bottom of the screen, this is probably the strongest of the games, but it’s insanely slow, I was more worried about falling asleep than I was missing the correct button. And finally a bag shop where you throw stuff at bags on a conveyer belt for reasons I don’t understand, like the generation game at a monkey enclosure.

Oh and your reward for getting through these minigames? You get a freezeframe of your character (and their new dog) on the catwalk. Does that satisfy you? No. Good, you get to do it all again 4 more times with the other characters, have fun!

This game sucks like Chet’s party last night (read with rising inflection? Like everything’s a question?) and like, I wouldn’t be seen dead with it. It’s so last year, it’s so blasé and…you know what, I can’t keep that up. This game is truly awful, definitely amongst the worst I’ve played. Including Home Alone 2. The game is easy, the mini games aren’t original, or fun, they’re just boring, and the entire concept is fickle enough to make me hate anyone who even considered buying this game, let alone play it. It’s cheap shovelware aimed at people who won’t ever play it because they don’t stock it in River Island and because Gameboys aren’t fucking shoes. It’s like aiming a bible reading game for a pensioner who’s convinced video games are a spawn of satan, they’re not going to buy it, so why make the effort, make something more worthwhile, like…god damn it, now all I can think about is shoes.

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